Saturday, August 12, 2017

NWCG Top 5 Countdown - Board Games To Play

Do you board games? Well, how about checking these games for your entertainment, the whole family can enjoy or just play with friends!

Great Western Trail
Finally, a game that fulfills this city slicker's deep-seated need to herd cattle across state lines. In Great Western Trail, you and up to three other friends move cattle from Texas to Kansas City; taking turns to add to your herd, construct buildings along the way, or contracting cowboys, engineers, craftsmen, and more.

In the parlance of hardcore board game nerds, Great Western Trail is a "point salad" game. One with endless number of ways to cobble together enough points to attain victory. As you're building the best deck of cattle cards, or hiring helping hands at the right time, each turn will bombard you with a huge array of loosely connected options... and, more often than not, total analysis paralysis. Definitely one of the best pure-strategy games of the 2010's, Great Western Trail will have you using the phrases 'herding cattle' and 'taking part in an ultimate test of strategic mettle' interchangeably.
Price: $70, amazon.com

Captain Sonar
Frenzied" doesn't even begin to explain this game. In Captain Sonar, you and 7 friends helm two submarines in a real-time, elusive battle to the death. (Ignore the box, only play with 8 players.) Imagine a full table of two teams of four, separated by a long cardboard shield. Both teams' Captains are frenetically shouting directions as quickly as possible to evade drones and mines across a 15-by-15 grid studded with islands. The Engineers are pleading to let their ships surface to heal the damaged weapons or sonar systems; the Radio Operators are hungrily searching for areas of the map that match the enemy Captain's orders, which they're tracking with a felt marker, a clear plastic sheet, and a map. 

Finally, with a raised fist, the game stops as one team's Captain, at her first First Mates's suggestion, fires a torpedo, crashing into the opponents submarine to the chorus heavy groans from the losing players. Buy Captain Sonar, and you will play it whenever you have eight players at the ready.
Price: $75, amazon.com

Scythe
At the risk of calling it early, Scythe is the best game of 2016. In this gorgeously illustrated steampunk re-imagining of 1920s Eastern Europe, five players complete for regional prestige, resources, and territorial control of a hexagonal game board.

Although battling your friends with coal-powered mechs is a significant part of the game, Scythe is by no means a combat-centric slog. The game actively penalizes direct warfare, which might sound frustrating but makes the game all the more strategic and balanced. You'll find yourself immersed in Scythe's strategy and aesthetics as you plan each turn's single action. For example: First you might complete a quest to steal food and money from local farmers, next you'll build a mine to connect territories across the board, and lastly you'll sweep into a nearby Soviet territory to do battle and steal all their iron.
Price: $80.00 Amazon

Star Wars: Rebellion
Have a friend and an infinite amount of free time? Then you're almost ready to play Star Wars: Rebellion. You're just going to need more time. Just learning the rules can take up to two hours, and play can easily spill into the five hour territory. With two massive game boards, hundreds of plastic figurines, and more dice and game tokens than you can keep track of, Rebellion plays like a monstrous mashup of Risk and Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition.

In this asymmetric slog, you either take command of the Rebels, sending heroes like Luke and Leia across the galaxy to foment rebellion, or helm the Galactic Empire, fielding massive armadas of spaceships to scour for the rebel base, destroying planets with Death Stars, and capturing the rebel heroes in the process. Like an abandoned star system, you will finish this huge game utterly depleted.
Price: $72.99 Amazon

Spaceteam
Yelling strange words, tossing cards, losing all hope… the loud and exhilarating Spaceteam is a game only your neighbors could hate. During play, up to six players (or nine with the highly recommended Not Safe For Space expansion) chaotically attempt to assemble a spaceship within five minutes.

Each player flips through a deck of interstellar "malfunction" cards while hunting for all 6 of the spaceship cards hidden among them. You solve each malfunction card by laying down specific "tool" cards, of which everyone has a hand. The problem? The tool cards are dispersed through all the players, requiring you to call aloud for them by physical description, or by their absurd names. You'll find yourself repeatedly yelling "The Quasipaddle! I need the Quasipaddle!" or "For the love of god, I still need the circle-y vacuum looking thing with handles! Who has it?!"
Price: 24.99 Amazon